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Old 29th January 2023, 11:46 AM   #1
fernando
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Default 2.3-meter sword found in 4th-century tomb in Japan

The sword is the oldest of the dako swords, distinguished by their wavy, snake-like shapes, which give rise to their name. As burial goods, more than 80 other dako swords have been discovered throughout Japan.
The latest sword has markings of a sheath and handle, and together, its length measures 2.6 meters, more than dominating the last longest dako sword discovered at around 85 cm.

The shield-shaped mirror is 64 cm in length, 31 cm in width at most, and weighs 5.7 kilograms. Typically, bronze mirrors that are found at archaeological sites are rounded, but this one is shield-shaped.

“(These discoveries) indicate that the technology of the Kofun period (300-710 AD) are beyond what had been imagined, and they are masterpieces in metalwork from that period,” said Kosaku Okabayashi, the deputy director for Nara Prefecture’s Archaeological Institute of Kashihara.

Mirror and shields are considered to be tools to protect the dead from evil spirits. The sword is thought to have been enlarged to increase its power, and the possibility of its use as a battle tool is low, researchers said.

The 109-m-diameter Tomio Maruyama burial mound, the largest in Japan and dating to the late 4th century, is believed to have belonged to a significant person who supported the Yamato rulers at the time.
The burial chamber where the discoveries were made is thought to have belonged to someone close to that person, according to Naohiro Toyoshima, an archaeology professor at Nara University. He also said that the ritualistic sword and the shield-shaped mirror may indicate that the individual was involved in military and ritualistic matters.

Cover Photo: Photo taken on Dec. 5, 2022, shows a sword discovered at the Tomio Maruyama burial mound in Nara, western Japan. (Photo courtesy of Nara city board of education)(Kyodo).


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